Skoda Octavia Estate full 9 point review
There are 1.2, 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines, and 1.6 and 2.0 diesels. Even the 1.6 diesel easily hauls around a car this big, but the ratios in the five-speed gearbox are widely spaced, so there are times when neither one gear nor another suit. Greenline models are better because they get a six-speed ’box and a slightly more powerful 1.6-litre engine. The 2.0 diesel is a muscular performer, but while the 1.2 and 1.4 petrols accelerate smoothly, they don’t feel as gutsy as the diesels.
Ride & Handling
The Octavia Estate’s ride is a little unsettled around town, but it’s not uncomfortable and gets better the faster you go. Its body stays pretty upright and composed through tight turns, and there’s plenty of grip, although rivals feel more agile. SE-spec cars and above have three drive modes: Normal, Sport and Eco. The accurate steering weights up consistently in each setting, and the throttle is noticeably sharper in Sport mode.
The 2.0-litre diesel is the noisiest Octavia Estate model, with noticeable engine noise at most speeds. You’ll also hear the 1.6 diesel a little too much at low revs, but things settle down at higher speeds. Both are acceptable by class standards, though, and the petrols are impressively hushed. There’s also little wind noise at speed, and all models have a slick gearchange and even pedal weights. Suspension noise is irritating, however; it sounds like a resonant boom over most town roads.
Buying & Owning
The Octavia is hard to fault in this area. Pricing is extremely competitive, resale values are excellent, and fuel and maintenance costs are among the lowest in the class, so it’s one of the best-value estates to buy and run. Greenline models are great for company car buyers, particularly in SE Business trim; it’s also the best option for private buyers who are buying outright, but the shortage of finance deals makes it expensive on a PCP contract.
Quality & Reliability
Cabin finish is another of the Skoda’s strong points. A variety of soft-touch materials and a standard touch-screen infotainment system make it feel just as classy as many of its German peers. Skoda also promises good customer service and reliability, coming fourth in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
The Octavia hasn’t been crash-tested as an estate, but Euro NCAP awarded the hatchback version the full five stars, with particularly good results for adult and pedestrian protection. Having seven airbags as standard also contributed to its excellent score. Security is just as impressive, with insurance body Thatcham awarding the Skoda five out of five for resisting drive-away theft and four out of five for resisting forced entry.
Behind The Wheel
A broad range of wheel and seat adjustment means you’ll get comfortable no matter how tall you are, and the manual lumbar support works effectively. The dashboard is uncluttered, featuring simple rotary heating controls and decent-sized buttons. Rear visibility is also good, helped by long, deep rear side windows. The only oversight is the speedometer, which doesn’t have 30 or 50mph increments highlighted.
Space & Practicality
With the rear seats up, the boot is deep and square, and offers a huge 610 litres of luggage space. Folding the rear seats down creates a vast load bay, albeit with a substantial slope and step in the floor. The variable-height boot floor (not available on S or Greenline versions, and standard or optional on other trims) does at least remove the step. Passenger space is just as generous, so even tall adults will be comfortable up front or on the broad rear bench.
Even the cheapest trim (S) gets air-con, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and a USB socket. Our favourite is SE, which adds dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and rear electric windows. SE Business is best for company car drivers or private buyers buying outright; it comes with sat-nav and cruise control. Elegance brings part-leather upholstery and automatic wipers, but it’s not as good value as the cheaper versions.